Start a project with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon

This document provides you with background information on how to successfully implement tree planting projects in deserts and/or in eroded or rocky areas. Any questions that are not answered in the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon planting manual, are covered in this document.

The durability and the production equipment of the Waterboxx® plant cocoon

What material is the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon made of and what is its weight?

  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon weighs 1,400 grams;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is made of polypropylene with additives to protect it against the sun and big temperature differences;
  • More information about weight, volume, packing and transport can be found in our shop.

The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is made of polypropylene. How sustainable is that?

  • On the bottom of the box Groasis has printed the year of production;
  • After 10 years, you can hand in the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon to the distributor. He will organize that the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon will be recycled.

Does Groasis give a reliable warranty on the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Our warranty is really good because we believe in the high quality of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon. You can find the document on this page: General conditions and warranty from Groasis.

Is there any maintenance on the use of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • You can re-use the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon during 10 years without maintenance. Just lift it over the tree and re-use it;
  • While re-using it, you have to replace the wick.

What are the possible threats or risks of using the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Wild boars might destroy the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon. Until now we have seen this phenomenon only in Spain and France. No person has found a solution for this problem. We signaled a potential solution in India, see this YouTube video;
  • Until now we have not seen problems with moles. However, govers sometimes use the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon to live below it. If so, then they eat the roots of the planted tree. Protect your crops against animals;
  • Algae do not form within the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon;
  • Sometimes the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is covered with sand during or after a sand storm. This however is no problem for the functioning of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon;
  • Sometimes ice formation does occur, but it only lifts the cover, that has to be re-assembled after the frost. The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon doesn't get damaged;
  • If strong winds of +8 Beaufort may be expected, we recommend the use of wind protectors to attach the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon to the ground;
  • Theft or vandalism might be a problem, but until now we have over 100,000 boxes in public areas. Less than 100 Waterboxx® plant cocoons have been stolen, of which 60 in one place in France. We have not experienced vandalism while using the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon in public areas;
  • Sometimes planters do not follow the instructions. This has a big negative influence on the survival results. Training and control of the planters is very important;
  • Wrong or bad quality planting material can lead survival rates of less than 30%;
  • Planting material without a woody stem does not survive in hot areas.

How long does a tree need the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

A planted tree or bush needs the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon at least 9 months but until now we have not used it longer than 1 year. If after 9 months the speed of growth of the shoots is faster than the water gift of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can cause, the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be replaced to the next tree. The fast-growing speed of the shoots is the signal that the plant grows independent from the Waterboxx® plant cocoon.

Where can you plant trees in a water saving way?

Can I use the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon in each climate zone?

  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be used within each climate zone no matter how harsh or hot;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can resist temperatures from -40 °C up to +90 °C without being damaged;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be used within each temperature range;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be used to plant year round in each climate or air temperature range;
  • When air temperatures are higher than +40 °C, it is preferable to stop planting with the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon and wait for a cooler period;
  • Wind of Beaufort 8 and higher may blow away the Waterboxx® plant cocoon and optional available wind protectors are advised to use under these windy circumstances.

Can I use the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon on each soil type?

  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be used on each soil type, including rocks;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be planted on slopes and has to be placed horizontal;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon can be planted with each soil temperature until +40 °C;
  • With sandy soils with less than 1% humus we advise to add 15 liters of compost and mix this through the soil;
  • See for further information the planting instruction pages/links under 'manuals';
  • With rocks and sandy soils whether or not mixed with compost, we advise to dig the planting hole one day in advance and add 40 liters of water. See for further information the planting instruction pages/links under 'manuals';
  • With sandy soils with over 3% humus, and with clay and loam soils, we advise to dig the planting hole one day in advance and add 20 liters of water;
  • If there is a rainy season with over 100 mm of precipitation, these above quantities can be reduced with 0,2 liter for each mm of precipitation that is expected above the 100 mm, if the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is planted in the month before the rain season starts, and/or during first half of the rain season;
  • The capillary hang water quantity influences the growth speed, but we do not take it into account while planting;
  • We do take the capillary hang water quantity into account with the to be chosen species/varieties.

Is the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon sufficiently strong for use in deserts?

The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is protected by 4 different additives. These additives protect against destruction caused by UV radiation and caused by big differences in day- and night temperature. The light resistance is tested with Xenon lights UV-A and UV-B. The weather resistance to light, temperature and relative humidity is tested through a simulation in a weather box. The UV-resistance additives are added according to the prescription standards of BASF and CIBA. Concentrations of additives have been chosen to survive the circumstances of deserts during a period of 12 years. For this reason, we expect the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon to endure 10 years.

How long will the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon last under desert circumstances?

  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon and its parts will last at least 10 years;
  • As you know, plastic becomes 'less flexible' under severe light circumstances, so you have to treat the Waterboxx® plant cocoon more careful when it becomes older;
  • The plastic cover 'in' the central opening lasts 3 years;
  • The wick lasts 1 year.

Can I expect defects with the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

Each year we are improving the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon, based on experiences in practical circumstances. In principle, you will not encounter defects. If defects are caused by us, they are covered by our warranty rule. Each year when the Waterboxx® plant cocoon is replaced; the wick has to be replaced. With water expanding when it becomes ice, sometimes the cover can freeze off without being damaged, but it can be put in its place again.

Training people for planting trees

How do I train people to use the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology while planting the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Train the management and supervisors. It will take three days;
  • The supervisors need to train the planters about the use of the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology. It will take one day;
  • If you use the Groasis capillary drill, you will have to train the tractor driver. It will take one day;
  • You need to train the truck drivers, the water drivers, the bus drivers;
  • You need to train planting quality controllers;
  • See for further information the planting instruction pages/links under 'manuals'.

Quality specifications and planting of multiple trees

What are the quality specifications for tree saplings when I use the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology?

These plant quality specifications are valid for desert-like, hot circumstances.

For tropical rainforest circumstances, other plant quality requirements are valid:

  • Use seed, cuttings or tissue culture plants from reliable sources;
  • Use healthy planting material without diseases;
  • Plants must have been hardened in the nursery during at least 2 months growing in the full sun, before they are planted in the field;
  • Northern hemisphere: minimum stem diameter on 10 cm height for planting period October until March: 5 mm;
  • Northern hemisphere: minimum stem diameter on 10 cm height for planting period April until September: 8 mm;
  • Southern hemisphere: minimum stem diameter on 10 cm height for planting period April until September: 5 mm;
  • Southern hemisphere: minimum stem diameter on 10 cm height for planting period October until March: 8 mm;
  • Maximum length of 20 cm is sufficient;
  • Cut off all side branches while planting with the Groasis Technology. Leave the apical bud intact;
  • The stem must be woody, it may not be 'fleshy';
  • The primary root growth direction must be vertically downwards;
  • The root color must be white;

When is it interesting to plant two trees in one Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

Planting economical interesting trees with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology

  • As soon as survival rates with economical interesting trees are lower than 80%, we advise to calculate the cost difference between planting two trees instead of one;
  • Calculate the reduction in income if more than 20% dies after the planting and your survival rate is lower than 80%;
  • If you have a certain % of died trees, then calculate the costs of having 20% trees that are one year younger caused by re-planting;
  • The calculations will then show whether it is better to plant two trees instead of one;
  • With the high survival rates experiences that Groasis has at the moment, we do not advise to plant two economical interesting trees in one Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon during the first year of the project.

Planting ecological interesting trees with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology

  • With ecorestoration it is advisable to plant one tree and one bush in one Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon;
  • It is preferably to plant those species that grow together in nature also, and of which we know that they have a positive symbiosis effect on each other;
  • If we use 300 pioneer trees per hectare, we can do this with 150 Groasis Waterboxxes, making eco-restoration very cost effective;
  • With eco-restoration 'time' and 'growing speed' is not important, therefore it is sufficient to plant 300 trees per hectare, if we use pioneer trees.

What do you need and how much time do you need for planting trees?

How do I plant Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoons in the field?

  • The planting hole for the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon must be 15 cm deep
  • The planting hole for the plant must be deeper than the 15cm depth. The extra depth is equal to the length of the plug;
  • The soil below the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon and below and beside the roots, must be untouched, not moved, in order to not break the capillary column;
  • The water overflow of the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon must be heading North, this way the eight-shape opening will be placed East-West;
  • This East-West direction of the opening in the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon helps to let the sunshine enter during early morning and late evening, and gives a shadow to the plant between 10am and 4pm;
  • The Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon must be placed horizontal;
  • With expected winds above 8 Beaufort, we advise to use wind protectors.

Which hand tools do I use while planting the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Big shovel;
  • Small shovel;
  • Compass;
  • Knife;
  • Pruning shears;
  • Pliers (to put the wick in);
  • Bucket for water;
  • Bucket for waste (only if plants are produced in plastic bags or pots);
  • See for further information the planting instruction pages/links under 'manuals';

How long does it take to plant a Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?
The needed planting time per Waterboxx® plant cocoon depends on:

  • The food and water quality and quantity for the personal;
  • The quality of the management;
  • The logic of the organization;
  • The training of the personal;
  • The quality of the personal;
  • The control of the personal;
  • The payment to the personal;
  • The payment method to the personal (per hour or per planted plant);
  • The quality of the hand tools;
  • The quality of the plants;
  • The carrying material for the plants (pots, bags or trays);
  • The weight of the carrying material for the plants;
  • The volume of the carrying material for the plants;
  • The vegetation of the to be planted area;
  • The temperature;
  • See the planting instruction pages/links under 'manuals' where films and photos describe the process;
  • Each planter can have an individual instruction on his smart phone, if the management decides to choose for this method. The QR is placed in the manual page on the website.

How long does it take to make a planting hole for the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • The capacity of making holes will rise or drop depending on the type of soil (sand = fast / rocks = slow) and the intensity of the vegetation (many or little roots);
  • Tractors can safely work on slopes up to 15°. For steeper slopes, no machine has been developed yet;
  • If the area is covered with bushes and you want to plant economical interesting trees, you might have to remove them before planting;
  • On the end of this document you find information about the difference in costs between using manpower or the Groasis capillary drill to make planting holes.

Is it better to use mulch or compost when planting with the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Putting compost in the soil: see item earlier in this document. If the water holding capacity is very low, it is better to add compost;
  • While using the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon mulching around it is not necessary;
  • If stones are available, putting them around the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon reduces the evaporation and stabilizes the soil temperature;
  • When the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is taken off, covering the soil around the tree must be done;
  • The best ground cover after removing the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is stones;
  • The second-best ground cover after removing the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is a light-colored straw or reed;
  • The third best ground cover after removing the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is light colored mulch;
  • The fourth best ground cover after removing the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon is loose sand.

Start your own project with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology

How do I develop a Project Plan with the Groasis Ecological Water Saving Technology?

  • Write the Project Plan;
  • Include all the stakeholders that have interests in the area;
  • Arrange the financing of the Project;
  • Appoint a project leading team;
  • Make a time line. Take into account that your planning depends on the needed production time of your species in the nursery. For planting in deserts your trees should be preferably at least 9 months to 1 year old;
  • Define the species: are they economical interesting or ecological interesting;
  • Decide whether you produce the plants yourself, or buy them;
  • Develop a management plan;
  • Develop a management flow chart and acquire them;
  • Calculate your needed personnel and acquire them;
  • Make a logistic plan for the transport of the Waterboxx® plant cocoons from production plant to the storing place on the nursery;
  • Make a logistic plan for transport the Waterboxx® plant cocoons from the nursery to the planting place, dividing on the spot, and removing them after a year;
  • Make a logistic plan for transport of the people who have to plant the boxes;
  • Make a logistic plan for your plants from the nursery to the field;
  • Make an organizational scheme of assembling the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoons, making the planting holes, filling them with water, then planting the trees and fill again with water;
  • Make a logistic plan for transport of the water we need to plant the boxes;
  • It is advisable to consider drilling the holes with the Groasis capillary drill instead of by hand (on the end of this document you find information about the use of the Groasis capillary drill about this subject);
  • Until now we have not been confronted with a place where the Waterboxx® plant cocoon was needed longer than one year. So, make a re-use plan that begins at week 53 after the start of the planting of your Project;
  • Make a security plan.

What are the controlling procedures after planting with the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Check the minimum water level in driest period. If temperatures remain below 35 °C, a refill is not necessary;
  • Sometimes little plants grow in the siphons. They have to be removed;
  • Sometimes sand covers the cover. Until now we have not seen negative effects of this phenomenon. In principle, the box protects against sand. In the attached photo to the email with which I send this document, one can see that if no Waterboxx® plant cocoon was placed, the tree would have been covered by sand and died;
  • If you are in an area with termites, then check frequently on attacks from them;
  • If you are in an area with frost, check the covers after the winter. They might be frozen off and have to be re-assembled;
  • Use a soil thermometer to check the soil temperature below and besides the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon;
  • Use the same thermometer to check the water temperature inside the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon and compare this with the air temperature;
  • Always use a camera when you check the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon plantations;
  • Check your plantation(s) once per month. 

Can I protect my planted trees against predators while using the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon?

  • Whether you plant trees with or without the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon doesn't influence the damage from predators
  • If you want to protect your trees, then first define the possible predators
  • Search for the best solution in the market against each species of predators that threatens the plants
  • See this page for more information